Aug 23, 2004
Reviewed By Jeff Sabatini
Price as Tested $35,395
Likes

No longer the blandest of the bland exterior styling; comfortable seats; brushed aluminum knobs on stereo look like vintage ’70s audiophile gear.

Dislikes

Rear suspension is squirrelly; clutch takes up abruptly about a half-inch from the floor; steering extremely indirect; nav system thinks Fort Wayne, IN, is uncharted territory.

Verdict

What was once a bulletproof, if boring, sports sedan has now become the poster child for putting product planning ahead of engineering. Over-styled and over-powered, the front-drive TL’s nice, new six-speed manual is ruined by horrendous torque steer, courtesy of its 270-hp V6. That the rear end never wants to go where the front end is leading—even if that direction is straight—doesn’t help. Add a typically stupid navigation system to the package and you’ve got a car that looks, drives, and feels like an unfettled tuner car.

Fun to Drive
1.0 rating
Fun to Look at
3.0 rating
Overall Experience
2.0 rating
Stats